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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Sadly, once upon a time, interracial dating and marriages was considered taboo and even illegal (see Edwin Black’s book, War Against the Weak for a chilling account to keep blacks and whites from mating and reproducing). However, interracial dating and marriages are now becoming more and more commonplace as they are in the UK (this observation is based on a former colleague who now lives in England). We see the acceptance of such relationships by carefully watching TV. As one friend pointed out, we see more and more commercials featuring interracial couples. She also mentioned the TV Show Scandal that features Kerry Washington (who is black) having an affair with the president (who is white). I think this increase of interracial coupling is due to several factors. One, many young people believe that we live in a post-racial society because we have a black president in the white house. In other words, for many, race is not a burning issue. To many of them, they are asking “what’s the big deal?”; and they are saying, “I am going to date someone regardless of his or her ethnicity or race.” (Ironically, racism is on the increase since having a black president in office.) Second, many young people in particular and many people in general are ahistorical. That is, many are so far removed from history in general and the Civil Rights era in particuar that interracial dating does not carry the same distaste as it once did. Third, many folks who are pursuing others across racial lines see high profile people dating across racial lines. Consider RGIII who is black and who recently proposed to his girlfriend, Rebecca Liddicoat, who is white. Consider Kanye West who just announced that he and Kim Kardashian are expecting their first child; lastly consider Eddie Murphy who is dating Paige Butcher. While this represents black males dating or pursuing white females; there is also more and more black females being pursued by white males. Consider Halle Barry for example. The point is that many of us take our relational cues from the Hollywood culture or those who in the public eye.

Fourth, many African American families have chosen to move to the suburbs to give their kids access to better schools. However, in many instances, these African American families are truly the minority. Their kids attend predominantly white schools; their kids play sports on predominantly white teams, etc. The result? Many African American kids in the suburbs are so immersed in this environment for many years that they see no issue with dating across racial lines. Kids of all races and ethnicities are becoming in a way, “colorblind.” To be sure, some of this “colorblindness” is naivety but it is also so refreshing. Fifth, many Christian families and non-Christian families instruct their kids to respect and love all people regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. as the white parents told their daughter in the film, “Guess Who is Coming to Dinner” (released 1967). This is good and right for parents to do so. But unlike the parents in this film who were surprised when their daughter, Joey (played by Katharine Houghton), brought home Dr. John Prentice (played by Sidney Poitier), we should not be surprised when our kids take such things to heart and date or pursue someone of a different race. And lastly, we live in an era where folks like to buck the system; we live in a time where folks are fascinated by multi-culturalism; and we live in a time where folks like to challenge the status quo or the social norms of years gone by. Sociologists have dubbed this phenomenon ‘postmodernism.’ I believe all these factors contribute to the growing acceptance of what was once off-limits – dating someone of a different race. News Flash: this may not be your thing but get over it because those dating/marrying across the racial divide is narrowing.